Eco Prefab 1: Macarthur Gardens Visitor Information Centre
A gallery pavilion designed to be disassembled, moved and reassembled on other sites for Stockland Property Trust.
Inspired by Jørn Utzon’s unbuilt Bayview House's of the 1960's, a precast concrete lego set / kit of parts was created, whereby the logic of a repeating structural system (precast concrete) synthesises structure and architecture. Wherever possible the structure and system of connection and erection is revealed and explored for its sculptural and material qualities. Elements like the roof/gutters that tip water into the concrete awning, then down a rain chain and into tanks for reuse act as small metaphors of the sites hydrology that helps underscore the relationship of the building to the land whilst embodying its structural and construction logic architecturally. Construction is form!
The precast concrete floor, wall and roof elements that float over the site on a field of steel screw piles were erected in two days with a further four weeks required to fit out the interior.
This project was dismantled, the doors and windows salvaged and the building re-imagined as a sustainable house in the Southern Highlands for an environmental scientist couple. Changes in use (public/commercial to residential), climate (elevated, exposed site), client, bushfire (BAL-29 bushfire zone) and building performance / sustainability and, of course, budget needed to be addressed.
Sustainable Design Features Include:
-4-week construction time
-designed for reuse (disassembly, transportation and re-assembly of concrete floor, wall and roof elements)
-no concrete footings (the building sits on a field of 'screw piles') so when the project is moved there are no permanent elements left behind, just a series of small holes for the rabbits.
-20,000L water storage for re-use internally and externally
-intelligent passive solar design response expressed clearly in it’s north, south, east and west facades and cross ventilation
-excellent cross ventilation
-energy efficient appliances and water saving devices
Publications: ArchDaily + Architecture Australia + Architecture Review + Mix Magazine + inhabitat
Staff: Eoghan Lewis & Hugo Moline
Images: Ian Tatton